Quo vadis Bundeswehr? : the renaissance of the German armed forces : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Defence Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
In the year 2012, the German Armed Forces can look back on almost 60 years of successfully contributing to the safeguarding of peace in Europe, twenty-two years of which as the armed forces of a reunited Germany. The Bundeswehr has a longer service history than the Wehrmacht and the Reichswehr combined and even longer than the armed forces of the German Empire. However, the successful security architecture of the Cold War is no longer adequate for the new challenges lying ahead. In the 21st century, all tools of preventive security have to be measured by the answers provided to various new threats and challenges, which have replaced the dominant and clearly recognisable threat of the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War. The scope of duty of the German Armed Forces would have to be newly defined and prioritised. The Transformation of the Bundeswehr, and the resulting need for modernisation had been the subject of fierce domestic political disputes. The Cold War legacy was particularly heavy on the Bundeswehr and made any change complicated. Considering the new challenges, the approach chosen, as difficult as it may be, is nevertheless the way forward.